GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- While the nation collectively gasped at the horrors of the Las Vegas shootings, news outlets scrambled for information and headlines.
Then, a reminder was sent out from the National Association of Black Journalists.
The same reminder sent out after the unthinkable Orlando, Florid
A reminder of a long list of murders committed—in mass—during earlier parts of U.S. history, before Columbine, Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas.
“It's not an issue of race; it's an issue of accuracy,” said Greg Morrison, treasurer of NABJ. “And you got to ask them, what do you base that on? Do you base it on the fact that it didn't happen in your lifetime? Well, that's not accurate.”
History reminds us of the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921, where a white mob murdered up to an estimated 300 black people, according to a state report.
In Elaine, Arkansas, 1919, up to an estimated 200 black people were slain after the killing of a white deputy.
In Colfax, Louisiana, 1873, an estimated 60 to 150 blacks and three whites were killed in a battle between a black militia and white supremacists, according to Smithsonian.
“There's so much loss there when we don't even value the fact that these people existed, let alone died or were murdered in a most heinous fashion. Murder is murder, and if you are black, white or whatever, you are equally dead, equally horrific and it's equally tragic for your family,” said Morrison.
You could go back further.
According to the National Park Service, 230 Native Americans were murdered in the Sand Creek Massacre, more than half women and children.
Sixty Native Americans were slain in the Clear Lake Massacre in 1850, and at least 200 Lakota tribe members were murdered by U.S. Army soldiers at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota in 1890, according to accounts recorded by the NPS.
Perhaps these events get lost in the general conversation about mass shootings because of what we think of as a modern day mass shooting.
The Congressional Research Service defines "public mass shooting" as an incident occurring in relatively public places, involving four or more deaths—not including the shooter or shooters—whose victims are selected somewhat indiscriminately.
As the information from NABJ and other publications spread, headlines began adjusting.
Most major headlines now read "deadliest shooting in modern history," which would be more accurate and still equally horrific.
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